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September 20, 2012

IUK chancellor Harris resigns

Officials tight-lipped about details surrounding resignation

Kokomo — Michael Harris stepped down as chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo Wednesday, but officials were tight-lipped about details of the resignation.

A press release issued by IU Bloomington said the resignation was effective immediately.

“Harris indicated to IU officials that he was proud of his accomplishments at IU Kokomo, but felt that the time had come for him to seek new challenges at another institution,” the release stated.

Marie Radel, director of marketing at the Kokomo campus, declined to discuss the issue. She wouldn’t even talk about Harris’ contributions to the university.

Radel said the resignation was a university matter and directed all questions to Mark Land, associate vice president of public affairs and government relations at the Bloomington campus.

Land was the one who issued the press release, but he wouldn’t provide additional details.

“The release is pretty self-explanatory, and we have no other details or comment to offer, but feel free to send me a note if anything in the release is unclear,” Land said in an email.

IU Kokomo’s last chancellor Ruth Janssen Person resigned in May 2008 after serving in that capacity for nearly a decade. She left for a job at the University of Michigan Flint campus, her alma mater.

At the time, IU President Michael McRobbie said Person would be missed “not only as the leader of the Kokomo campus, but also as a leader for all of Indiana University. I wish her nothing but success and am confident she will provide the University of Michigan-Flint campus with the same strong leadership she provided to IU Kokomo for the past nine years.”

Harris had been chancellor at IU Kokomo since July 1, 2010. Before that, he served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Kettering University in Flint, Mich.

Harris had just been named the chairman of a committee to find a new chancellor for the IU East campus in Richmond.

Harris stated in the press release that it was time to move on.

“Having accomplished a variety of goals at IU Kokomo, I have made a personal decision to seek new opportunities,” Harris said.

Sue Sciame-Giesecke, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at IU Kokomo, has been named interim chancellor until a permanent chancellor is appointed.

McRobbie said he wished the best for Harris.

“We are grateful for the energy and enthusiasm that Chancellor Harris brought to IU Kokomo, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” McRobbie said.

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